Footstools

The Bouville Diarist

FOOTSTOOLS

by Chris Courtney

 

“The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” – Psalms 110:1 (ESV)

 

Try to imagine the scene: the upstairs room is crowded with people who are in the midst of an experience unparalleled in human history.  Jesus, their Messiah, has been wrongly convicted by a kangaroo court executed in the most painful and humiliating fashion possible.  It would be hard for anybody who had seen His beaten and bloody body hanging on that cross to believe that this man could keep His promise and rise again on the third day.

But rise He did!  He spent forty more days appearing before people, showing them His scars and filling them with faith anew.  He did not leave them hanging.  After ascending into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit on the day we now remember as…

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Footstools

FOOTSTOOLS

by Chris Courtney

 

“The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” – Psalms 110:1 (ESV)

 

Try to imagine the scene: the upstairs room is crowded with people who are in the midst of an experience unparalleled in human history.  Jesus, their Messiah, has been wrongly convicted by a kangaroo court executed in the most painful and humiliating fashion possible.  It would be hard for anybody who had seen His beaten and bloody body hanging on that cross to believe that this man could keep His promise and rise again on the third day.

But rise He did!  He spent forty more days appearing before people, showing them His scars and filling them with faith anew.  He did not leave them hanging.  After ascending into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit on the day we now remember as Pentecost to fill and fuel and empower the believers in that upper room.  They saw the power of God working within and throughout them.  No more fear of the angry Jewish leaders or the ruling Roman overlords.

Then Peter stands up.  Peter, who had so often made such a fool of himself by trying to please Jesus in all the wrong ways.  Peter, who despite his protestations otherwise, denied ever having known his Lord and Savior three times in rapid fire succession.  Peter, the once brash young man who lobbed off the slave’s ear in the garden, now has traded in his personal bravado for true boldness – strength found through the Holy Spirit.

And when Peter spoke to the first church, he spoke with an authority he had never possessed before.  He explained what they had just been through.  He showed them Who Jesus Christ really was (is) – the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  The long awaited Messiah:

32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33  Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.’ 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” – Acts 2:32-39 (ESV)

It is amazing the power available to us, if we will only submit to the LORD.  God keeps His promises.  And we need to remember that, no matter what we face in life, we will share in Christ’s eternal victory is we remain faithful and seek God first.  Yahweh / Jehovah – our God and King, God of the Jews, our Father – has seated our Lord and Savior Jesus at His right hand.  And He will return, to make footstools of His enemies.

Good Night for 23 June 2014

7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. – Psalm 62:7-8 (ESV)

Good night, dear friends. If you are burdened tonight – in need of peace or forgiveness or strength – go to God. Before you go to sleep, go to The Lord. Put your faith in Him. And pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Worship Him. Seek Him. Talk to Him. Open up your heart. God already knows what’s going on in your life. He knows the fear or worries or pain or sin or anger or troubles you face. He knows.

Talk to The Lord – openly, honestly, knowing He hears you. And let His love, mercy and grace wash over you and fill you.

Sleep well.

Quick Peace Thoughts

If you define peace as the absence of conflict, you will never find it. Conflict is a constant in the life of every human.

Peace comes from faith in Christ that is rooted in the understanding that God is sovereign and we are not. And God, Who is Sovereign over all, loves us – loves you – more than any human mind can conceive.

Likewise, God has a plan and each of us has a part. Don’t sweat trying to figure it out. You are where you are by the grace of our Sovereign God and Heavenly Father. And when we are unhappy, perhaps we are not seeking God as we ought. If Paul can be content in the circumstances he faced, so can we.

Peace comes from letting go of all that keeps us from Jesus, and latching on to His Word and His promises and His leading. Peace comes when we obediently follow The Lord – not out of legalistic obligation but true love and devotion borne from a faithful understanding that God I’d God and I am not.

So tonight, I pray peace for you. Let go of the past, the doubts, the cares of this world, and grasp tightly to The Lord.

Selah

1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. 2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. 3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah – Psalm 77:1-3 (ESV)

Selah. The Hebrew word means pause, reflect. Think about what you just read. Let it marinate in your soul for awhile. Mull over what the writer is saying.

When we pray, it is easy to unhinge our jaws and just start yacking at God. But, when you get down to it, most of our prayer time should be spent in silent stillness. We should be seeking God, pondering His Word, listening for The Lord. Selah.

The psalmist is clearly greatly troubled. But notice how he begins this song to The Lord. The first thing he does is declares his faith. He refuses to take comfort from any external source. He just wants God. Selah.

God is greater than any situation, any fear, any doubt, any illness. God can – and will – forgive any sin, if we but ask. But, rest assured, in times of trouble, God is greater. We will at some point in our lives face tragedy, uncertainty, pain, sorrow, disappointment… But, God is greater. God can – and will – use any and every situation to His glory. These discomforts are all temporary, as all this life is. But God… He is eternal. He is great and greatly to be praised! And He loves you, His child, more than you can imagine. Just have faith, and praise Him always no matter what.

Selah.

So You Wanna Write Part 10 – “Take That Step”

adoptingjames

5If you’ve ever been to church in your life, chances are you’ve seen this movie clip.

It’s probably the most overused clip in all churches ever.

And if it happens to be a church that doesn’t have a movie screen or projectors, then the youth pastor or the hip young intern has referenced the scene on stage at some point.

And the funny thing is, all these years later, these guys still get behind the pulpit and reference this movie scene as though they’re the first ones to draw in a biblical connection to it.

Cracks me up every time.

You know the scene.

Indy’s father is dying of a gun wound and he, Indiana Jones, must retrieve the holy grail. But IndyAbyssone of the last tests is for him to make a leap of faith.

He takes that step into a deep chasm, and behold! His foot lands on…

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All

I find it a bit odd that so many people believe the only place they can worship God is at church.  Now, whenever a group of Christians gather in His name, worship should take place.  But not all worship is corporate.  All of life provides an opportunity for grateful, heartfelt worship.

Take this morning for instance.  It would easy to slip into “blah it’s Monday morning” mode.  But the simple truth is there is much to be thankful for, and abundant opportunity to worship and praise God.  For one, the birds are singing beautifully – a wonderful reminder to praise God our Creator.  I see on the weather radar that rain is coming – a great reminder to praise God our Sustainer.  Every morsel of food can be savored with great appreciative worship to God our Provider.  Every fleeting reminder of sin and regret opens the door to gratefully praise God our Savior.  Even in hard times, we should cry out praises to God our Protector. God is good, despite our circumstances.

Today, look for every opportunity to worship God.  For He truly is great, and greatly to be praised.

1 O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. 2 Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. 4 For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 7 Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. 8 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. 9 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. 12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice 13 Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Psalms 96:1-13 (KJV)

The Encouragement Blog is now The Bouville Diarist

Here’s the deal… My wife has informed me that I have too many blogs. So, as I transition into a new writing ministry – titled THE BOUVILLE DIARIST – I have decided to simply change the existing blog.

Please note that we are no longer located at encouragement316.wordpress.com. We have moved to http://www.bouvillediarist.wordpress.com. Please change your bookmarks.

And please visit often, follow, subscribe, and share! Most importantly, follow Christ and seek God first in life.

God bless

Chris

I Am Not a Tugboat Captain

There is a reason I am not a tugboat captain. I don’t like the smell of fish. I am certain that too much time upon churning seas would make me hurl meals I thought were long digested. I don’t tie knots well. I am mechanically declined. And I can’t swim.

All of these are hurdles I could most likely overcome. Except for that part about casting my last three meals upon the choppy waters. However, there is one main barrier that keeps me from being a tugboat captain.

God didn’t create me to be a tugboat captain.

Now, if I have any readers out there who are tugboat captains, you have my everlasting admiration. And, rest assured, I am not after your job. But if you are one of those people who were created to live for the smell of the sea breezes and choking diesel engine fumes, then tugboat captain is the perfect vocation for you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV). If you’re feeling like a fish out of water (to continue our maritime theme), like a tugboat captain with no ambition to sail – or tug – relax. God has a plan. For you.

Let me ask you: who are you? I don’t mean name, rank and serial number. Who are you? What do you do well and find deep satisfaction in doing? What puts the wind in your sails? (See there… more nautical references…) Seek God and ask Him how you can use these gifts – and, yes, God has gifted you in some way, whether you realize it or not – to further His Kingdom. Discover how you can use your abilities to bring Him glory and bless the community you are part of.

And watch God work wonders through you as you faithfully serve Him with all He has given you!

The Encouragement Blog is now The Bouville Diarist

Here’s the deal… My wife has informed me that I have too many blogs. So, as I transition into a new writing ministry – titled THE BOUVILLE DIARIST – I have decided to simply change the existing blog.

Please note that we are no longer located at encouragement316.wordpress.com. We have moved to http://www.bouvillediarist.wordpress.com. Please change your bookmarks.

And please visit often, follow, subscribe, and share! Most importantly, follow Christ and seek God first in life.

God bless

Chris